Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, December 16, 2013 10:00 PM


Prior to the anticipated tune-up of the Yamaha YZF-R1 at the end of this week, the motorcycle starts well without showing any of its recent problems. Tuesday and Wednesday are good days at work as I contribute individually and at meetings. After a couple of the meetings I've made new friends beacsue they realize I share all information and will speak the truth and not ignore problem areas. After work I get out walking on Tuesday and have a heavier session with the weights on Wednesday with no shoulder pain. Person Ti_Ca work on his final essay/project for the semester each night. And I look forward to the weekend where nighttime temperatures are expected in the 30s F in Long Beach.

During work on Thursday I discover more errors in models that people have given me. What's going on here? This is going to be a lot of tedious work for someone and I'm afraid that that someone is going to be me. I leave work a bit early to take the motorcycle in for a tuneup. Person Ti_Ca meets me at the motorcycle dealer near his school to give me a ride home. I go out walking in the cold weather for 40 minutes and then get home and take an Actifed. I did not sleep well last night and the weather is cold and my throat is feeling scratchy, so anything to maximize my chances of staying well and cycling will help.

The Actifed does the trick as I sleep very well on Friday night. I'm out of bed later than usual since Derrick and I have decided to delay our ride by about 30 minutes due to the cold weather. Nonetheless I am out the door near 7 am with the thermometer below 40 degrees F to ride. I meet up with Derrick and we go over the Whittier Narrows dam and down the San Gabriel river trail. The farther I ride today the better I feel and the worse that Derrick feels. At one point I'm pulling and Derrick is calling out 23 miles per hour and is barely hanging on. During the few miles of street riding I see a bus go past us and I sprint to try and stay with the bus and use the bus as a windbreak. Eventually I give up but Derrick says that we hit 32 miles per hour during the chase. At the end I add on some extra miles to pull Derrick along - I end up at 60 miles. During the ride we pass a guy who has a Ciocc bicycle - like my old road bicycle. So I slow down and it is the same year as mine but with the ugly turquoise color that I've only seen in pictures and not in real life. THe bike has modified components, but the frame looks nice. The rider, who says his father gave him the bicycle to ride, and I have a little conversation before Derrick and I head out into the distance. I get home and mow the lawn, grab a nice warm shower, and take Person Ti_Ca to run errands: the library, lunch, and grocery shopping. There is a First Friday event near my house and Person T_U calls me to go. But Istay inside the house where it is warm - I'm tired from the bicycle ride and I've received word from work that I might have to fly to Baltimore because they had a failure and I don't want to be out in the cold beforehand and get sick.

I sleep in on Saturday until 7 am and have a 0.5 degree fever. As I'm laying in bed I hear raindrops. There will not be a bicycle ride today. In the morning I water the impatiens and do the annual paperwork cleanup where I shred old documents and clean up my files. At mid morning the rain is harder so I get out and have a decent workout with the weights. I don't usually do well with weights workouts in the morning, but today it feels good. I have no shoulder pain again today. I'm wondering if it the week off that I took from lifting weights last week or the different glucosamine chondroitin brand that I am now taking that has eliminated the shoulder pain. Person Ti_Ca and I work on homework for a while since it is raining. As the rain clears the motorcycle dealer calls and says my motorcycle is ready. Person Ti_Ca sneaks a ride for me to the motorcycle dealer before his work and I pick up the bike and ride on home. Today's bill is $40 less than expected and the service manager says that they gave me a loyalty discount since I have been coming to them for so long. As Person Ti_Ca works at his job, I work on websites - fixing errors and upgrading google map versions and then I do some reading and relax in anticipation of a good bicycle ride on Sunday.

There is no alarm clock set for Sunday and yet I wake up at 5:30 am with no fever. I get up and mill around the house before starting out for a very cold bicycle ride near 7:30 am. I feel strong today and proceed to have a great, if cold, bicycle ride. When I get home the chunk of ice that I tossed in the backyard from the freezer has not even started to melt - it is that cold today. After I ride I gather toxic materials for a toxic recycling event next Saturday, have a warm shower, and do some quick grocery shopping. The rest of the day is spent relaxing,watching football, reading, working on websites, helping Person Ti_Ca with homework, and some more relaxing.

Monday and Tuesday are semi-productive days at work. I contribute where I can to the failures that they have had in Illinois and it isn't clear if I have to go out there or not. I also work on my usual assignment activities, but each afternoon I have a lull and my enthusiasm tapers off. When I get home I lift weights on Monday night and do an abdominal/core/lower back workout on Tuesday night. Person Ti_Ca is working and has finished his assignments in advance of finals, so I get time on my own to do some reading and some web programming. Though the mornings have been very cold with low temperatures at 36 F, the motorcycle starts well each morning. But what is the wind chill factor when riding at 85 miles per hour and 35 degrees F?

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are fairly productive days at work and afterwards. I lift weights on Wednesday and Friday with Friday's lifts as heavy as I've done in many months. I get home a bit late on THursday and just go walking for 40 minutes. Person Ti_Ca is getting ready for finals and working these days so our schedules are somewhat mutually exclusive.

As I'm out walking on Thursday I have time to reflect on recent events. Just a couple weeks ago things were going wrong: The tankless water heater kept flashing an error code even though it had been flushed twice, the Yamaha YZF-R1 was having some problems, there were stains or etches on the marble kitchen countertops that were bothering me, and a few other little things. (People told me not to get marble countertops in the kitchen, but I love the look so much that I went and did it anyway. However, almost anything spilled on the marble might leave a stain or etch if it is acidic like citrus fruits or vinegar.) But things have changed. A long conversation with tech people for the tankless water heater managed to get out of them (without having to call a repair person) the way to reset the controller and clear the error code though it involved removing a few pieces. After the minor tuneup, the Yamaha YZF-R1 is running well after the diligent mechanic found some possibly bent pins in a connector and he cleaned them up and straightened them out. (Though none of us is sure this was the problem.) And I find some marble anti-etch polishing compound that comes in the mail and on first and second tests manages to polish out the etch marks. All of these solutions to some of my problems really ended up costing very little even after I had resigned myself to some expensive repairs. These thoughts take up my walk and I add these strokes of luck into my positive luck column.

Saturday starts with a long bicycle ride. I get up to the Whittier Narrows dam and turn around and go all the way back to the ocean before turning around and heading for home. There are not many riders out to start but eventually more riders are seen. I struggle for most of the ride and my lower back hurts today. I wonder why? After a shower I drop off some toxic chemicals, expired medicines, and the motorcycle battery at a toxic waste recycling event and then grab Person Ti_Ca to have lunch. We go to Olive Gardens and have the same waiter/server as we did a few months ago. He remembers us, or claims to, and I just grze on salad and bread sticks while Person Ti_Ca has a delicious entree. This server is nice, so we give him a good tip as we did last time. I drop Person Ti_Ca off to get ready for work and I go to the library for two more books (including one about Jimmy Connors) and I do grocery shopping before returning home. I also polish up some more of the kitchen marble countertops and now I realize that I have been on the move since 6:30 am with barely a break or rest. So for the rest of the day I do some reading and relaxing on the sofa and hope that my lower back feels better for tomorrow's bicycle ride with Derrick.

When I wake up on Sunday on morning there are many body parts that are sore and I think about texting Derrick and saying that he is on his own and I will ride (short) later. But I don't do that. Instead I get dressed and start north on the Los Angeles river and meet up with Derrick. We turn around and head back to the ocean as per our usual rides and stop at the pier. When we start again we pick up a couple of other riders and we take turns pulling into the headwind until I drop off for my stop. It is a frutifull ride for me and only the last couple of miles were difficult. Now I'm really tired when I return hoem but I wash and rinse the bicycle and rake leaves before getting a shower and running some errands. The afternoon is spent relaxing and watching football.

The alarm seems to come very quickly on Monday morning. I have a good ride to work and have a fairly unproductive day. It's a transition day because we expect to start testing a sensor and I'm waiting for the phone call. But the call doesn't come until 3:30 in the afternoon. I walk over to the vibration lab and look at the data. I explain to the external customer and co-workers what the data shows and we'll have to fix an accelerometer or two and re-run the initial test on Tuesday morning. The ride home is eventfull as the Yamaha YZF-R1 hits 77,777 miles. I take a picture of the odometer and stop at the liquor store to buy lottery tickets (with the odometer at 77777) because it might be a sign of luck. When I get home there is a youngish man and his son in front of my house taking pictures of a burning orange sunset. When I pull off the helmet they man says, "Oh, I expected to see a young kid riding that motorcycle". And I just say, "No, I'm a senile old man". I get in a great workout with the weights where this heavy workout feels good enough that I should increase the weights again for the next workout. I watch Monday night football because my Detroit Lions are playing.